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					Introduction to Windows Vista by Li, Zhang


                                                                            2009/10/23




  ZEBRA                   INTRODUCTION TO WINDOWS VISTA




                                         A Beginner’s Guide   | Li, Zhang
                                                                              Page 1 of 29
Introduction to Windows Vista by Li, Zhang




Table of Contents
Attribution ............................................................................................................................................................................... 4
   Our Contribution ................................................................................................................................................................. 4
   Wikipedia............................................................................................................................................................................. 4
   Creative Commons .............................................................................................................................................................. 4
Introduction ............................................................................................................................................................................ 5
Development ........................................................................................................................................................................... 6
New or changed features ........................................................................................................................................................ 7
   End-user .............................................................................................................................................................................. 7
   Core ..................................................................................................................................................................................... 9
   Security-related ................................................................................................................................................................. 10
   Business ............................................................................................................................................................................. 11
   Developer .......................................................................................................................................................................... 12
Removed features ................................................................................................................................................................. 14
Editions .................................................................................................................................................................................. 15
Visual styles ........................................................................................................................................................................... 16
   Windows Aero ................................................................................................................................................................... 16
   Windows Vista Standard ................................................................................................................................................... 16
   Windows Vista Basic.......................................................................................................................................................... 16
   Windows Standard ............................................................................................................................................................ 16
Hardware requirements ........................................................................................................................................................ 17
Service packs ......................................................................................................................................................................... 18
   Service Pack 1 .................................................................................................................................................................... 18
   Service Pack 2 .................................................................................................................................................................... 19
   Platform Update ................................................................................................................................................................ 19
Reception .............................................................................................................................................................................. 21
Criticism................................................................................................................................................................................. 22
   Hardware requirements .................................................................................................................................................... 22
   Licensing ............................................................................................................................................................................ 22
   Cost.................................................................................................................................................................................... 22
Resource ................................................................................................................................................................................ 23
Index ...................................................................................................................................................................................... 24
References............................................................................................................................................................................. 25

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Introduction to Windows Vista by Li, Zhang




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Introduction to Windows Vista by Li, Zhang


Attribution
All the content in this report, except for the Top Web Links section is from Wikipedia, licensed under the Creative
Commons Share-Alike 3.0 Unported License (see below for an overview of both Wikipedia and the Creative Commons).
The following picture shows the full license below (it is also set up as a hyperlink to the original web source for this
license

(Wikipedia, 2009)




Figure 1 – Wikipedia Creative Commons License

Our Contribution
We have attempted to add extra value to the content by structuring it in an easy to read, business report format and to
add an informative “Top Web Links” section. We have also added an index to help you find what you are looking for. We
hope you find it useful and worth the $1 purchase price. We have prepared this report as part of a MS Word 2007
assignment for BSYS 1000 – Computer Applications I that we are taking at the British Columbia Institute of Technology
(BCIT). All proceeds will go to student clubs within the School of Business at BCIT.

Wikipedia
Wikipedia is a multilingual, Web-based, free-content encyclopedia project based mostly on anonymous contributions.
The name “Wikipedia” is a portmanteau of the words wiki (a type of collaborative Web site) and encyclopedia.
Wikipedia’s articles provide links to guide the user to related pages with additional information.

Wikipedia is written collaboratively by an international (and mostly anonymous) group of volunteers. Anyone with
internet access can write and make changes to Wikipedia articles. There are no requirements to provide one’s real name
when contributing; rather, each writer’s privacy is protected unless they choose to reveal their identity themselves.
Since its creation in 2001, Wikipedia has grown rapidly into one of the largest reference web sites, attracting around 65
million visitors monthly as of 2009. There are more than 75,000 active contributors working on more than 14,000,000
articles in more than 260 languages. As of today, there are 3,062,069 articles in English. Every day, hundreds of
thousands of visitors from around the world collectively make tens of thousands of edits and create thousands of new
articles to augment the knowledge held by the Wikipedia encyclopedia. (See also: Wikipedia:Statistics.)

Creative Commons
Creative Commons (CC) is a non-profit organization devoted to expanding the range of creative works available for
others to build upon legally and to share. The organization has released several copyright-licenses known as Creative
Commons licenses. These licenses allow creators to communicate which rights they reserve, and which rights they waive
for the benefit of recipients or other creators.




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Introduction to Windows Vista by Li, Zhang


Introduction
Windows Vista is a line of operating systems developed by Microsoft for use on personal computers, including home and
business desktops, laptops, tablet PCs, and media center PCs. Prior to its announcement on July 22, 2005, Windows Vista
was known by its codename "Longhorn."[3] Development was completed on November 8, 2006; over the following three
months it was released in stages to computer hardware and software manufacturers, business customers, and retail
channels. On January 30, 2007, it was released worldwide,[4] and was made available for purchase and download from
Microsoft's website.[5] The release of Windows Vista came more than five years after the introduction of its predecessor,
Windows XP, the longest time span between successive releases of Microsoft Windows desktop operating systems. It
was succeeded by Windows 7 which was released to manufacturing on July 22, 2009, and for the general public on
October 22, 2009.

Windows Vista contains many changes and new features, including an updated graphical user interface and visual style
dubbed Windows Aero, a redesigned search function, multimedia tools including Windows DVD Maker, and redesigned
networking, audio, print, and display sub-systems. Vista aims to increase the level of communication between machines
on a home network, using peer-to-peer technology to simplify sharing files and digital media between computers and
devices. Windows Vista includes version 3.0 of the .NET Framework, allowing software developers to write applications
without traditional Windows APIs.

Microsoft's primary stated objective with Windows Vista has been to improve the state of security in the Windows
operating system.[6] One common criticism of Windows XP and its predecessors is their commonly exploited security
vulnerabilities and overall susceptibility to malware, viruses and buffer overflows. In light of this, Microsoft chairman Bill
Gates announced in early 2002 a company-wide "Trustworthy Computing initiative" which aims to incorporate security
work into every aspect of software development at the company. Microsoft stated that it prioritized improving the
security of Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 above finishing Windows Vista, thus delaying its completion.[7]

While these new features and security improvements have garnered positive reviews, Vista has also been the target of
much criticism and negative press. Criticism of Windows Vista has targeted its high system requirements, its more
restrictive licensing terms, the inclusion of a number of new digital rights management technologies aimed at restricting
the copying of protected digital media, lack of compatibility with some pre-Vista hardware and software, and the
number of authorization prompts for User Account Control. As a result of these and other issues, Windows Vista had
seen initial adoption and satisfaction rates lower than Windows XP.[8] However, with an estimated 330 million internet
users as of January 2009, it has been announced that Vista usage had surpassed Microsoft’s pre-launch two-year-out
expectations of achieving 200 million users.[9] [10] [11] As of the end of August 2009, Windows Vista (with
approximately 380 million internet users) is the second most widely used operating system on the internet with an
approx. 23% market share, the most widely used being Windows XP with an approx. 69% market share.[10]




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Development
The Windows Longhorn logo Microsoft began work on Windows Vista, known at the time by its codename Longhorn, in
May 2001,[12] five months before the release of Windows XP. It was originally expected to ship sometime late in 2003 as
a minor step between Windows XP and Blackcomb, which was planned to be the company's next major operating
system release. Gradually, "Longhorn" assimilated many of the important new features and technologies slated for
Blackcomb, resulting in the release date being pushed back several times. Many of Microsoft's developers were also re-
tasked to build updates to Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 to strengthen security.[7] Faced with ongoing delays
and concerns about feature creep, Microsoft announced on August 27, 2004, that it had revised its plans. The original
Blackcomb, based on the Windows XP source code, was scrapped, and Longhorn's development started anew, building
on the Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1 codebase, and re-incorporating only the features that would be intended for
an actual operating system release. Some previously announced features such as WinFS were dropped or postponed,
and a new software development methodology called the Security Development Lifecycle was incorporated in an effort
to address concerns with the security of the Windows codebase.[13]

After Blackcomb was named Windows Vista in July 2005, an unprecedented beta-test program was started, involving
hundreds of thousands of volunteers and companies. In September of that year, Microsoft started releasing regular
Community Technology Previews (CTP) to beta testers. The first of these was distributed at the 2005 Microsoft
Professional Developers Conference, and was subsequently released to beta testers and Microsoft Developer Network
subscribers. The builds that followed incorporated most of the planned features for the final product, as well as a
number of changes to the user interface, based largely on feedback from beta testers. Windows Vista was deemed
feature-complete with the release of the "February CTP", released on February 22, 2006, and much of the remainder of
work between that build and the final release of the product focused on stability, performance, application and driver
compatibility, and documentation. Beta 2, released in late May, was the first build to be made available to the general
public through Microsoft's Customer Preview Program. It was downloaded by over five million people. Two release
candidates followed in September and October, both of which were made available to a large number of users.[14]

While Microsoft had originally hoped to have the consumer versions of the operating system available worldwide in time
for Christmas 2006, it was announced in March 2006 that the release date would be pushed back to January 2007, in
order to give the company–and the hardware and software companies which Microsoft depends on for providing device
drivers–additional time to prepare. Development of Windows Vista came to an end when Microsoft announced that it
had been finalized on November 8, 2006.[15] Windows Vista cost Microsoft 6 billion dollars to develop.[16]




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Introduction to Windows Vista by Li, Zhang


New or changed features
Windows Vista revised and incorporated new features and functionalities not present in its predecessors, especially
those from Windows XP.

End-user
 Windows Explorer in Windows Vista Windows Aero: The new hardware-based graphical user interface is named
Windows Aero, which Jim Allchin stated is an acronym for Authentic, Energetic, Reflective, and Open.[17] The new
interface is intended to be cleaner and more aesthetically pleasing than those of previous Windows versions, including
new transparencies, live thumbnails, live icons, and animations, thus providing a new level of eye candy. Laptop users
report, however, that battery life is shortened with the feature enabled.[18][19]

Windows Shell: The new Windows shell is significantly different from Windows XP, offering a new range of organization,
navigation, and search capabilities. Windows Explorer's task pane has been removed, integrating the relevant task
options into the toolbar. A "Favorite links" pane has been added, enabling one-click access to common directories. The
address bar has been replaced with a breadcrumb navigation system. The preview pane allows users to see thumbnails
of various files and view the contents of documents. The details pane shows information such as file size and type, and
allows viewing and editing of embedded tags in supported file formats. The Start menu has changed as well; it no longer
uses ever-expanding boxes when navigating through Programs. The word "Start" itself has been removed in favor of a
blue Windows Pearl.

Instant Search (also known as search as you type) : Windows Vista features a new way of searching called Instant Search,
which is significantly faster and more in-depth (content-based) than the search features found in any of the previous
versions of Windows.[20]

Windows Sidebar: A transparent panel anchored to the side of the screen where a user can place Desktop Gadgets,
which are small applets designed for a specialized purpose (such as displaying the weather or sports scores). Gadgets can
also be placed on other parts of the desktop.

Windows Internet Explorer 7: New user interface, tabbed browsing, RSS, a search box, improved printing,[21] Page Zoom,
Quick Tabs (thumbnails of all open tabs), Anti-Phishing filter, a number of new security protection features,
Internationalized Domain Name support (IDN), and improved web standards support. IE7 in Windows Vista runs in
isolation from other applications in the operating system (protected mode); exploits and malicious software are
restricted from writing to any location beyond Temporary Internet Files without explicit user consent.

 Windows Media Player 11Windows Media Player 11, a major revamp of Microsoft's program for playing and organizing
music and video. New features in this version include word wheeling (or "search as you type"), a new GUI for the media
library, photo display and organization, the ability to share music libraries over a network with other Windows Vista
machines, Xbox 360 integration, and support for other Media Center Extenders.

Backup and Restore Center: Includes a backup and restore application that gives users the ability to schedule periodic
backups of files on their computer, as well as recovery from previous backups. Backups are incremental, storing only the
changes each time, minimizing disk usage. It also features Complete PC Backup (available only in Ultimate, Business, and
Enterprise versions) which backs up an entire computer as an image onto a hard disk or DVD. Complete PC Backup can
automatically recreate a machine setup onto new hardware or hard disk in case of any hardware failures. Complete PC
Restore can be initiated from within Windows Vista or from the Windows Vista installation CD in the event the PC is so
corrupt that it cannot start up normally from the hard disk.




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Windows Mail: A replacement for Outlook Express that includes a new mail store that improves stability,[22] and
features integrated Instant Search. It has the Phishing Filter like IE7 and Junk mail filtering that is enhanced through
regular updates via Windows Update.[23]

Windows Calendar is a new calendar and task application.

Windows Photo Gallery, a photo and movie library management application. It can import from digital cameras, tag and
rate individual items, adjust colors and exposure, create and display slideshows (with pan and fade effects) and burn
slideshows to DVD.

Windows DVD Maker, a companion program to Windows Movie Maker that provides the ability to create video DVDs
based on a user's content. Users can design a DVD with title, menu, video, soundtrack, pan and zoom motion effects on
pictures or slides.

Windows Media Center, which was previously exclusively bundled in a separate version of Windows XP, known as
Windows XP Media Center Edition, has been incorporated into the Home Premium and Ultimate editions of Windows
Vista.

Games and Games Explorer: Games included with Windows have been modified to showcase Vista's graphics capabilities.
New games are Chess Titans, Mahjong Titans and Purble Place. A new Games Explorer special folder contains shortcuts
and information to all games on the user's computer.

 Windows Mobility Center. Windows Mobility Center is a control panel that centralizes the most relevant information
related to mobile computing (brightness, sound, battery level / power scheme selection, wireless network, screen
orientation, presentation settings, etc.).

Windows Meeting Space replaces NetMeeting. Users can share applications (or their entire desktop) with other users on
the local network, or over the Internet using peer-to-peer technology (higher versions than Starter and Home Basic can
take advantage of hosting capabilities, Starter and Home Basic editions are limited to "join" mode only)

Shadow Copy automatically creates daily backup copies of files and folders. Users can also create "shadow copies" by
setting a System Protection Point using the System Protection tab in the System control panel. The user can be
presented multiple versions of a file throughout a limited history and be allowed to restore, delete, or copy those
versions. This feature is available only in the Business, Enterprise, and Ultimate editions of Windows Vista and is
inherited from Windows Server 2003.[24]

 Windows Update with Windows Ultimate Extras Windows Update: Software and security updates have been
simplified,[25] now operating solely via a control panel instead of as a web application. Windows Mail's spam filter and
Windows Defender's definitions are updated automatically via Windows Update. Users who choose the recommended
setting for Automatic Updates will have the latest drivers installed and available when they add a new device.

Parental controls: Allows administrators to control which websites, programs and games each Limited user can use and
install. This feature is not included in the Business or Enterprise editions of Vista.

Windows Sideshow: Enables the auxiliary displays on newer laptops or on supported Windows Mobile devices. It is
meant to be used to display device gadgets while the computer is on or off.

Speech recognition is integrated into Vista.[26] It features a redesigned user interface and configurable command-and-
control commands. Unlike the Office 2003 version, which works only in Office and WordPad, Speech Recognition in



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Introduction to Windows Vista by Li, Zhang

Windows Vista works for any accessible application. In addition, it currently supports several languages: British and
American English, Spanish, French, German, Chinese (Traditional and Simplified) and Japanese.

New fonts, including several designed for screen reading, and improved Chinese (Yahei, JhengHei), Japanese (Meiryo)
and Korean (Malgun) fonts. Clear Type has also been enhanced and enabled by default.

Improved audio controls allow the system-wide volume or volume of individual audio devices and even individual
applications to be controlled separately. New audio functionalities such as Room Correction, Bass Management, Speaker
Fill and Headphone virtualization have also been incorporated.

Problem Reports and Solutions, a control panel which allows users to view previously sent problems and any solutions or
additional information that is available.

Windows System Assessment Tool is a tool used to benchmark system performance. Software such as games can
retrieve this rating and modify its own behavior at runtime to improve performance. The benchmark tests CPU, RAM, 2-
D and 3-D graphics acceleration, graphics memory and hard disk space.[27][28]

Windows Ultimate Extras: The Ultimate edition of Windows Vista provides, via Windows Update, access to some
additional features. These are a collection of additional MUI language packs, Texas Hold 'Em (a Poker game) and
Microsoft Tinker (a strategy game where the character is a robot), BitLocker and EFS enhancements which allow users to
back up their encryption key online in a Digital Locker, and Windows Dream scene, which enables the use of videos in
MPEG and WMV formats as the desktop background. On April 21, 2008, Microsoft launched two more Ultimate Extras;
three new Windows sound schemes, and a content pack for Dream scene. Various Dream Scene Content Packs have
been released since the final version of Dream Scene was released.

Reliability and Performance Monitor includes various tools for tuning and monitoring system performance and resources
activities of CPU, disks, network, memory and other resources. It shows the operations on files, the opened connections,
etc.

Disk Management: The Logical Disk Manager in Windows Vista supports shrinking and expanding volumes on-the-fly.

Core
 Please help improve this article by adding reliable references. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed.
(December 2007)

Windows Vista is intended to be a technology-based release, to provide a base to include advanced technologies, many
of which are related to how the system functions and thus not readily visible to the user. An example is the complete
restructuring of the architecture of the audio, print, display, and networking subsystems; although the results of this
work are visible to software developers, end-users will only see what appear to be evolutionary changes in the user
interface.

Vista includes technologies such as Ready Boost and Ready Drive which employ fast flash memory (located on USB drives
and hybrid hard disk drives) to improve system performance by caching commonly used programs and data. This
manifests itself in improved battery life on notebook computers as well, since a hybrid drive can be spun down when not
in use. Another new technology called SuperFetch utilizes machine learning techniques to analyze usage patterns to
allow Windows Vista to make intelligent decisions about what content should be present in system memory at any given
time. It uses almost all the extra RAM as disk cache. In conjunction with SuperFetch, an automatic built-in Windows Disk
Defragmenter makes sure that those applications are strategically positioned on the hard disk where they can be loaded
into memory very quickly with the least amount of physical movement of the hard disk’s read-write heads.[29]

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Introduction to Windows Vista by Li, Zhang

As part of the redesign of the networking architecture, IPv6 has been fully incorporated into the operating system and a
number of performance improvements have been introduced, such as TCP window scaling. Earlier versions of Windows
typically needed third-party wireless networking software to work properly, but this is not the case with Vista, which
includes more comprehensive wireless networking support.

For graphics, Vista introduces a new Windows Display Driver Model and a major revision to Direct3D. The new driver
model facilitates the new Desktop Window Manager, which provides the tearing-free desktop and special effects that
are the cornerstones of Windows Aero. Direct3D 10, developed in conjunction with major graphics card manufacturers,
is a new architecture with more advanced shade support, and allows the graphics processing unit to render more
complex scenes without assistance from the CPU. It features improved load balancing between CPU and GPU and also
optimizes data transfer between them.[30] WDDM also provides video content playback that rivals typical consumer
electronics devices. It does this by making it easy to connect to external monitors, providing for protected HD video
playback and increasing overall video playback quality. For the first time in Windows, graphics processing unit (GPU)
multitasking is possible, enabling users to run more than one GPU-intensive application simultaneously.[31]

At the core of the operating system, many improvements have been made to the memory manager, process scheduler
and I/O scheduler. The Heap Manager implements additional features such as integrity checking in order to improve
robustness and defend against buffer overflow security exploits, although this comes at the price of breaking backward
compatibility with some legacy applications.[32] A Kernel Transaction Manager has been implemented that enables
applications to work with the file system and Registry using atomic transaction operations.

Security-related
Please help improve this article by adding reliable references. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed.
(December 2007)

A User Account Control consent dialog, showing an administrator, AlexMain article: Security and safety features new to
Windows Vista

Improved security was a primary design goal for Vista.[6] Microsoft's Trustworthy Computing initiative, which aims to
improve public trust in its products, has had a direct effect on its development. This effort has resulted in a number of
new security and safety features.

User Account Control, or UAC is perhaps the most significant and visible of these changes. UAC is a security technology
that makes it possible for users to use their computer with fewer privileges by default, with a view to stopping malware
from making unauthorized changes to the system. This was often difficult in previous versions of Windows, as the
previous "limited" user accounts proved too restrictive and incompatible with a large proportion of application software,
and even prevented some basic operations such as looking at the calendar from the notification tray. In Windows Vista,
when an action is performed that requires administrative rights (such as installing/uninstalling software or making
system-wide configuration changes), the user is first prompted for an administrator name and password; in cases where
the user is already an administrator, the user is still prompted to confirm the pending privileged action. Regular use of
the computer such as running programs, printing, or surfing the Internet does not trigger UAC prompts. User Account
Control asks for credentials in a Secure Desktop mode, in which the entire screen is dimmed, and only the authorization
window is active and highlighted. The intent is to stop a malicious program misleading the user by interfering with the
authorization window, and to hint to the user the importance of the prompt.

Testing by Symantec Corporation has proved the effectiveness of UAC. Symantec used over 2,000 active malware
samples, consisting of backdoors, keyloggers, rootkits, mass mailers, trojan horses, spyware, adware, and various other
samples. Each was executed on a default Windows Vista installation within a standard user account. UAC effectively

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Introduction to Windows Vista by Li, Zhang

blocked over 50 percent of each threat, excluding rootkits. 5 percent or less of the malware which evaded UAC survived
a reboot.

Internet Explorer 7's new security and safety features include a phishing filter, IDN with anti-spoofing capabilities, and
integration with system-wide parental controls. For added security, ActiveX controls are disabled by default. Also,
Internet Explorer operates in a protected mode, which operates with lower permissions than the user and runs in
isolation from other applications in the operating system, preventing it from accessing or modifying anything besides the
Temporary Internet Files directory.[33] Microsoft's anti-spyware product, Windows Defender, has been incorporated
into Windows, providing protection against malware and other threats. Changes to various system configuration settings
(such as new auto-starting applications) are blocked unless the user gives consent.

Whereas prior releases of Windows supported per-file encryption using Encrypting File System, the Enterprise and
Ultimate editions of Vista include BitLocker Drive Encryption which can protect entire volumes, notably the operating
system volume. However, BitLocker requires approximately a 1.5-gigabyte partition to be permanently unencrypted and
to contain system files in order for Windows to boot. In normal circumstances, the only time this partition is accessed is
when the computer is booting, or when there is a Windows update that changes files in this area which is a legitimate
reason to access this section of the drive. The area can be a potential security issue, because a hexadecimal editor (such
as dskprobe.exe), or malicious software running with administrator and/or kernel level privileges would be able to write
to this "Ghost Partition" and allow a piece of malicious software to compromise the system, or disable the encryption.
BitLocker can work in conjunction with a Trusted Platform Module (TPM) cryptoprocessor (version 1.2) embedded in a
computer's motherboard, or with a USB key.[34] However, as with other full disk encryption technologies, BitLocker is
vulnerable to a cold boot attack, especially where TPM is used as a key protector without a boot PIN being required
too.[35]

A variety of other privilege-restriction techniques are also built into Vista. An example is the concept of "integrity levels"
in user processes, whereby a process with a lower integrity level cannot interact with processes of a higher integrity level
and cannot perform DLL–injection to a processes of a higher integrity level. The security restrictions of Windows services
are more fine-grained, so that services (especially those listening on the network) have no ability to interact with parts of
the operating system they do not need to. Obfuscation techniques such as address space layout randomization are used
to increase the amount of effort required of malware before successful infiltration of a system. Code Integrity verifies
that system binaries haven’t been tampered with by malicious code.

As part of the redesign of the network stack, Windows Firewall has been upgraded, with new support for filtering both
incoming and outgoing traffic. Advanced packet filter rules can be created which can grant or deny communications to
specific services.

The 64-bit versions of Vista require that all device drivers be digitally signed, so that the creator of the driver can be
identified.[36]

Business
While much of the focus of Vista's new capabilities has been on the new user interface, security technologies, and
improvements to the core operating system, Microsoft is also adding new deployment and maintenance features.

The Windows Imaging Format (WIM) is the cornerstone of Microsoft's new deployment and packaging system. WIM files,
which contain a HAL-independent image of Windows Vista, can be maintained and patched without having to rebuild
new images. Windows Images can be delivered via Systems Management Server or Business Desktop Deployment
technologies. Images can be customized and configured with applications then deployed to corporate client personal
computers using little to no touch by a system administrator. ImageX is the Microsoft tool used to create and customize
images.
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Windows Deployment Services replaces Remote Installation Services for deploying Vista and prior versions of Windows.

Approximately 700 new Group Policy settings have been added, covering most aspects of the new features in the
operating system, as well as significantly expanding the configurability of wireless networks, removable storage devices,
and user desktop experience. Vista also introduced an XML based format (ADMX) to display registry-based policy
settings, making it easier to manage networks that span geographic locations and different languages.[37]

Services for UNIX has been renamed "Subsystem for UNIX-based Applications," and is included with the Enterprise and
Ultimate editions of Vista. Network File System (NFS) client support is also included.

Multilingual User Interface–Unlike previous version of Windows which required language packs to be loaded to provide
local language support, Windows Vista Ultimate and Enterprise editions support the ability to dynamically change
languages based on the logged on user's preference.

Wireless Projector support

Developer
Windows Vista includes a large number of new application programming interfaces. Chief among them is the inclusion of
version 3.0 of the .NET Framework, which consists of a class library and Common Language Runtime and OS/2
environment just like its NT processors. Version 3.0 includes four new major components:[38]

Windows Presentation Foundation is a user interface subsystem and framework based vector graphics, which makes use
of 3D computer graphics hardware and Direct3D technologies. It provides the foundation for building applications and
blending together application UI, documents, and media content. It is the successor to Windows Forms.

Windows Communication Foundation is a service-oriented messaging subsystem which enables applications and systems
to interoperate locally or remotely using Web services.

Windows Workflow Foundation provides task automation and integrated transactions using workflows. It is the
programming model, engine and tools for building workflow-enabled applications on Windows.

Windows Card Space is a component which securely stores digital identities of a person, and provides a unified interface
for choosing the identity for a particular transaction, such as logging into a website.

These technologies are also available for Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 to facilitate their introduction to and
usage by developers and end users.

There are also significant new development APIs in the core of the operating system, notably the completely re-
architected audio, networking, print, and video interfaces, major changes to the security infrastructure, improvements
to the deployment and installation of applications ("Click Once" and Windows Installer 4.0) , new device driver
development model ("Windows Driver Foundation") , Transactional NTFS, mobile computing API advancements (power
management, Tablet PC Ink support, Sideshow) and major updates to (or complete replacements of) many core
subsystems such as Win logon and CAPI.

There are some issues for software developers using some of the graphics APIs in Vista. Games or programs which are
built solely on the Windows Vista-exclusive version of DirectX, version 10, cannot work on prior versions of Windows, as
DirectX 10 is not available for previous Windows versions. Also, games which require the features of D3D9Ex, the
updated implementation of DirectX 9 in Windows Vista are also incompatible with previous Windows versions.[39]
According to a Microsoft blog, there are three choices for OpenGL implementation on Vista. An application can use the
default implementation, which translates OpenGL calls into the Direct3D API and is frozen at OpenGL version 1.4, or an

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Introduction to Windows Vista by Li, Zhang

application can use an Installable Client Driver (ICD) , which comes in two flavors: legacy and Vista-compatible. A legacy
ICD disables the Desktop Window Manager, a Vista-compatible ICD takes advantage of a new API, and is fully compatible
with the Desktop Window Manager.[40] At least two primary vendors, ATI and NVIDIA provided full Vista-compatible
ICDs.[41] However, hardware overlay is not supported, because it is considered as an obsolete feature in Vista. ATI and
NVIDIA strongly recommend using compositing desktop/Framebuffer Objects for same functionality.[42]




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Introduction to Windows Vista by Li, Zhang


Removed features
Main article: Features removed from Windows Vista

Some notable Windows XP features and components have been replaced or removed in Windows Vista, including
Windows Messenger, NTBackup, the network Messenger Service, HyperTerminal, MSN Explorer, Active Desktop, and the
replacement of NetMeeting with Windows Meeting Space. Windows Vista also does not include the Windows XP "Luna"
visual theme, or most of the classic color schemes which have been part of Windows since the Windows 3.x era. The
"Hardware profiles" startup feature has also been removed, along with support for older motherboard technologies like
the EISA bus, APM and Game port support (though on the 32-bit version game port support can be enabled by applying
an older driver).[43] IP over FireWire (TCP/IP over IEEE 1394) has been removed as well.[44] The IPX/SPX Protocol has
also been removed, although it can be enabled by a third-party plug-in.[45]




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Editions
Windows Vista ships in eight editions.[46] These are roughly divided into two target markets, consumer and business,
with editions varying to cater for specific sub-markets. For consumers, there are four editions, with three available for
developed countries. Windows Vista Starter edition is limited to emerging markets. Windows Vista Home Basic is
intended for budget users with low needs. Windows Vista Home Premium covers the majority of the consumer market,
and contains applications for creating and using multimedia. The home editions cannot join a Windows Server domain.
For businesses, there are three editions. Windows Vista Business is specifically designed for small and medium-sized
businesses,[47] while Windows Vista Enterprise[48] is only available to customers participating in Microsoft's Software
Assurance program. Windows Vista Ultimate contains the complete feature-set of both the Home and Business
(combination of both Home Premium and Enterprise) editions, as well as a set of Windows Ultimate Extras, and is aimed
at enthusiasts.

All editions except Windows Vista Starter support both 32-bit (x86) and 64-bit (x64) processor architectures.

In the European Union, Home Basic N and Business N versions are also available. These come without Windows Media
Player, due to EU sanctions brought against Microsoft for violating anti-trust laws. Similar sanctions exist in South Korea.




                                                                                                              Page 15 of 29
Introduction to Windows Vista by Li, Zhang


Visual styles
A comparison of the four visual styles included in Windows Vista. Windows Vista has four distinct visual styles.[49][50]

Windows Aero
Vista's premier visual style, Windows Aero, is built on a new desktop composition engine called Desktop Window
Manager. Windows Aero introduces support for 3D graphics (Windows Flip 3D), translucency effects (Glass), live
thumbnails, window animations, and other visual effects, and is intended for mainstream and high-end video cards. To
enable these features, the contents of every open window are stored in video memory to facilitate tearing-free
movement of windows. As such, Windows Aero has significantly higher hardware requirements than its predecessors.
The minimum requirement is for 128 MB of graphics memory, depending on resolution used.[51] Windows Aero
(including Windows Flip 3D) is not included in the Starter and Home Basic editions.

Windows Vista Standard
This style is a variation of Windows Aero without the glass effects, window animations, and other advanced graphical
effects such as Windows Flip 3D.[52] Like Windows Aero, it uses the Desktop Window Manager, and has generally the
same video hardware requirements as Windows Aero. This visual style is included with Home Basic edition only as a
"cheap" replacement of Windows Aero style.

Windows Vista Basic
This style has aspects that are similar to Windows XP's "Luna" visual style with the addition of subtle animations such as
those found on progress bars. It does not employ the Desktop Window Manager, as such, it does not feature
transparency or translucency, window animation, Windows Flip 3D or any of the functions provided by the DWM. The
Basic mode does not require the new Windows Display Driver Model (WDDM) for display drivers, and has similar video
card requirements to Windows XP. For computers with video cards that are not powerful enough to support Windows
Aero, this is the default graphics mode. Prior to Service Pack 1, a machine that failed Windows Genuine Advantage
validation would also default to this visual style.[53]

Windows Standard
The Windows Standard (or Windows Classic) visual style is similar to that of Windows 2000 and Microsoft's Windows
Server line of operating systems. It does not use the Desktop Window Manager, and does not require a WDDM driver. As
with previous versions of Windows, this visual style supports color schemes, which are collections of color settings.
Windows Vista includes six color schemes, comprised of four high-contrast color schemes and the default color schemes
from Windows 98 (titled "Windows Classic") and Windows 2000/Windows Me (titled "Windows Standard").[52]




                                                                                                             Page 16 of 29
Introduction to Windows Vista by Li, Zhang


Hardware requirements
Computers capable of running Windows Vista are classified as Vista Capable and Vista Premium Ready.[54] A Vista
Capable or equivalent PC is capable of running all editions of Windows Vista although some of the special features and
high-end graphics options may require additional or more advanced hardware. A Vista Premium Ready PC can take
advantage of Vista's high-end features.[55]

Windows Vista's Basic and Classic interfaces work with virtually any graphics hardware that supports Windows XP or
2000; accordingly, most discussion around Vista's graphics requirements centers on those for the Windows Aero
interface. As of Windows Vista Beta 2, the NVIDIA GeForce 6 series and later, the ATI Radeon 9500 and later, Intel's GMA
950 and later integrated graphics, and a handful of VIA chipsets and S3 Graphics discrete chips are supported. Although
originally supported, the GeForce FX 5 series has been dropped from newer drivers from NVIDIA. The last driver from
NVIDIA to support the GeForce FX series on Vista was 96.85.[56][57] Microsoft offers a tool called the Windows Vista
Upgrade Advisor[55] to assist Windows XP and Vista users in determining what versions of Windows their machine is
capable of running. Although the installation media included in retail packages is a 32-bit DVD, customers needing a CD-
ROM or customers who wish for a 64-bit install media are able to acquire this media through the Windows Vista
Alternate Media program.[58] The Ultimate edition includes both 32-bit and 64-bit media.[59] The digitally downloaded
version of Ultimate includes only one version, either 32-bit or 64-bit, from Windows Marketplace.

Windows Vista system requirements[51] Vista Capable Vista Premium Ready

Processor 800 MHz[60] 1 GHz

Memory 512 MB 1 GB

Graphics card DirectX 9.0 capable DirectX 9.0 capable and WDDM 1.0 driver support

Graphics memory 32 MB 128 MB

HDD capacity 20 GB 40 GB

HDD free space 15 GB

Other drives DVD-ROM




                                                                                                           Page 17 of 29
Introduction to Windows Vista by Li, Zhang


Service packs
Microsoft occasionally releases service packs for its Windows operating systems to fix bugs and add new features.

Service Pack 1
Windows Vista Service Pack 1 (SP1) was released for sale on February 4, 2008, alongside Windows Server 2008 to OEM
partners, it was a five-month beta test period. The initial deployment of the service pack caused a number of machines
to continually reboot, rendering the machines unusable.[61] This caused Microsoft to temporarily suspend automatic
deployment of the service pack until the problem was resolved. The synchronized release date of the two operating
systems reflected the merging of the workstation and server kernels back into a single code base for the first time since
Windows 2000. MSDN subscribers were able to download SP1 on February 15, 2008. SP1 became available to current
Windows Vista users on Windows Update and the Download Center on March 18, 2008.[62][63][64] Initially, the service
pack only supported 5 languages - English, French, Spanish, German and Japanese. Support for the remaining 31
languages was released on April 14, 2008.[65]

A whitepaper published by Microsoft near the end of August 2007 outlined the scope and intent of the service pack,
identifying three major areas of improvement: reliability and performance, administration experience, and support for
newer hardware and standards.

One area of particular note is performance. Areas of improvement include file copy operations, hibernation, logging off
on domain-joined machines, JavaScript parsing in Internet Explorer, network file share browsing,[63] Windows Explorer
ZIP file handling,[66] and Windows Disk Defragmenter.[67] The ability to choose individual drives to defragment is being
reintroduced as well.[63]

Service Pack 1 introduces support for some new hardware and software standards, notably the exFAT file system,[63]
802.11n wireless networking,[68] IPv6 over VPN connections,[68] and the Secure Socket Tunneling Protocol. Booting a
system using Extensible Firmware Interface on x64 systems is also being introduced;[63] this feature had originally been
slated for the initial release of Vista but was delayed due to a lack of compatible hardware at the time.

Two areas have seen changes in SP1 that have come as the result of concerns from software vendors. One of these is
desktop search; users will be able to change the default desktop search program to one provided by a third party instead
of the Microsoft desktop search program that comes with Windows Vista, and desktop search programs will be able to
seamlessly tie in their services into the operating system.[64] These changes come in part due to complaints from
Google, whose Google Desktop Search application was hindered by the presence of Vista's built-in desktop search. In
June 2007, Google claimed that the changes being introduced for SP1 "are a step in the right direction, but they should
be improved further to give consumers greater access to alternate desktop search providers".[69] The other area of note
is a set of new security APIs being introduced for the benefit of antivirus software that currently relies on the
unsupported practice of patching the kernel (see Kernel Patch Protection).[70][71]

An update to DirectX 10, named DirectX 10.1,[63] makes mandatory several features which were previously optional in
Direct3D 10 hardware. Graphics cards will be required to support DirectX 10.1.[72] SP1 includes a kernel (6001) that
matches the version shipped with Windows Server 2008.

The Group Policy Management Console (GPMC) is being replaced by the Group Policy Object Editor. An updated
downloadable version of the Group Policy Management Console was released soon after the service pack.

SP1 enables support for hot patching, a reboot-reduction servicing technology designed to maximize uptime. It works by
allowing Windows components to be updated (or "patched") while they are still in use by a running process. Hotpatch-
enabled update packages are installed via the same methods as traditional update packages, and will not trigger a
system reboot.[73]
                                                                                                            Page 18 of 29
Introduction to Windows Vista by Li, Zhang

Service Pack 2
Service Pack 2 for Windows Vista was released to manufacturing on April 28, 2009,[74] and released to Microsoft
Download Center and Windows Update on May 26, 2009.[75] In addition to a number of security and other fixes, a
number of new features have been added. However, it did not include Internet Explorer 8:[76][77]

Windows Search 4.0 (currently available for SP1 systems as a standalone update)

Feature Pack for Wireless adds support for Bluetooth 2.1

Windows Feature Pack for Storage enables the data recording onto Blue-ray media

Windows Connect Now (WCN) to simplify Wi-Fi configuration

Improved support for resuming with active Wi-Fi connections

Enables the exFAT file system to support UTC timestamps, which allows correct file synchronization across time zones

Support for ICCD/CCID smart cards

Support for VIA 64-bit CPUs

Improves audio and video performance for streaming high-definition content

Improves Windows Media Center (WMC) in content protection for TV[78]

Provides an improved power management policy that is up to 10% more efficient than the original in some
configurations

Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 share a single service pack binary, reflecting the fact that their code bases
were joined with the release of Server 2008.[76] Service Pack 2 is not a cumulative update meaning that Service Pack 1
must be installed first.

Platform Update
The Platform Update for Windows Vista will be released around the end of October 2009 and will include major new
components that shipped with Windows 7, as well as updated runtime libraries.[79][80] It will require Service Pack 2 of
Windows Vista or Windows Server 2008 and will be pushed on Windows Update as a Recommended download.

The Platform Update will allow application developers to target both Windows Vista and Windows 7. It will consist of the
following components:

Windows Graphics runtime: Direct2D, Direct Write, Direct3D 11, DXGI 1.1, and WARP;

Updates to Windows Imaging Component;

Updates to XPS Print API, XPS Document API and XPS Rasterization Service;

Windows Automation API (updates to MSAA and UI Automation); (will also be available on Windows XP)

Windows Portable Devices Platform; (adds support for MTP over Bluetooth and MTP Device Services)

Windows Ribbon API;

Animation Manager Library.

                                                                                                           Page 19 of 29
Introduction to Windows Vista by Li, Zhang

Some updates will also be available as separate releases for both Windows XP and Windows Vista:

Windows Management Framework: Windows Power Shell 2.0, Windows Remote Management 2.0, BITS 4.0

Remote Desktop Connection 7.0 (RDP7) client;

Windows Web Services API (Native code);

Although extensive, the Platform Update does not bring Windows Vista to the level of features and performance offered
by Windows 7. For example, even though DXGI 1.1 update introduces support for hardware 2D acceleration featured by
WDDM 1.1 video drivers, only Direct2D and Direct Write will employ it and GDI/GDI+ will continue to rely on software
rendering. Also, even though Direct3D 11 runtime will be able to run on D3D9-class hardware and WDDM drivers using
"feature levels" first introduced in Direct3D 10.1, Desktop Windows Manager has not been updated to use either
Direct3D 10.1 or WARP software rasterizer.




                                                                                                        Page 20 of 29
Introduction to Windows Vista by Li, Zhang


Reception
Initially it was thought that the adoption of Vista has been generally low, due to largely poor reviews and harsh criticism,
but a later Gartner research report predicted that Vista business adoption in 2008 will actually beat that of XP during the
same time frame (21.3% vs. 16.9%)[81] while IDC had indicated that the launch of Windows Server 2008 served as a
catalyst for the stronger adoption rates.[82][83] As of January 2009, Forrester Research had indicated that almost one
third of North American and European corporations have started deploying Vista.[84] On a May 2009 conference, the
Microsoft Vice President said for big businesses, "Adoption and deployment of Windows Vista has been slightly ahead of
where we had been with XP".[85][86] In its first year of availability, PC World rated it as the biggest tech disappointment
of 2007,[87] and it was rated by InfoWorld as #2 of Tech's all-time 25 flops.[88] The internet-usage market share for
Windows Vista after two years of availability (as of January 2009) was 20.61%[10] This figure combined with World
Internet Users and Population Stats yielded a user base of roughly 330 million[11], which exceeded Microsoft's two-year
post launch expectations by 130 million.[9] The present user base is roughly 380 million by the same statistical sources.

Within its first month, 20 million copies of Vista were sold, double the amount of Windows XP sales within its first month
in October 2001, five years earlier.[89] Shortly after however, due to Vista's relatively low adoption rates and continued
demand for Windows XP, Microsoft continued to sell Windows XP until June 30, 2008, instead of the previously planned
date of January 31, 2008.[90] There were reports of Vista users "downgrading" their operating systems, as well as
reports of businesses planning to skip Vista.[91] A study conducted by Change Wave in March 2008 showed that the
percentage of corporate users who are "very satisfied" with Vista was dramatically lower than other operating systems,
with Vista at 8%, compared to the 40% who said they were "very satisfied" with Windows XP.[8]

Amid the negative reviews and reception, there have also been significant positive reviews of Vista, most notable among
PC gamers and the advantages brought about with DirectX 10, which allows for better gaming performance and more
realistic graphics, as well as support for many new capabilities brought about in new video cards and GPUs.[92] However,
many DirectX 9 games initially showed a drop in frame rate compared to that experienced in Windows XP. As of mid-
2008, benchmarks suggest that Vista SP1 is on par with (or better than) Windows XP in terms of game performance.[93]
An August 2009 survey by Valve Corporation indicated that 44.88% of gamers are running Windows Vista or Windows 7
beta (38.21% of which are 64-bit versions).[94]




                                                                                                              Page 21 of 29
Introduction to Windows Vista by Li, Zhang


Criticism
 This article's Criticism or Controversy section(s) may not present a neutral point of view of the subject. It may be better
to integrate the material in those sections into the article as a whole.

Windows Vista has received a number of negative assessments. Criticism targets include protracted development time,
more restrictive licensing terms, the inclusion of a number of technologies aimed at restricting the copying of protected
digital media,[95] and the usability of the new User Account Control security technology. Moreover, some concerns have
been raised about many PCs meeting "Vista Premium Ready" hardware requirements and Vista's pricing.

Hardware requirements
While Microsoft claimed "nearly all PCs on the market today [2005] will run Windows Vista",[96] the higher
requirements of some of the "premium" features, such as the Aero interface, have had an impact on many up graders.
According to the UK newspaper The Times in May 2006, the full set of features "would be available to less than 5 percent
of Britain’s PC market", however, this prediction was made several months before Vista was released.[97] This
continuing lack of clarity eventually led to a class action against Microsoft as people found themselves with new
computers that were unable to use the new software to its full potential despite the assurance of "Vista Capable"
designations.[98] The court case has made public internal Microsoft communications that indicate that senior executives
have also had difficulty with this issue. For example, his laptop's lack of an appropriate graphics chip so hobbled Vista
features that vice president Mike Nash (Corporate Vice President, Windows Product Management) commented "I now
have a $2,100 e-mail machine."[99]

Licensing
Criticism of upgrade licenses pertaining to Windows Vista Starter through Home Premium was expressed by Ars
Technica's Ken Fisher, who noted that the new requirement of having a prior operating system already installed was
going to cause irritation for users who reinstall Windows on a regular basis.[100] It has been revealed that an Upgrade
copy of Windows Vista can be installed clean without first installing a previous version of Windows. On the first install,
Windows will refuse to activate. The user must then reinstall that same copy of Vista. Vista will then activate on the
reinstall, thus allowing a user to install an Upgrade of Windows Vista without owning a previous operating system.[101]
As with Windows XP, separate rules still apply to OEM versions of Vista installed on new PCs: Microsoft asserts that
these versions are not legally transferable (although whether this conflicts with the right of first sale has yet to be
decided clearly legally).[102]

Cost
Initially the cost of Windows Vista was also a source of concern and commentary. A majority of users in a poll said that
the prices of various Windows Vista editions posted on the Microsoft Canada website in August 2006 make the product
too expensive.[103] A BBC News report on the day of Vista's release suggested that, "there may be a backlash from
consumers over its pricing plans—with the cost of Vista versions in the US roughly half the price of equivalent versions in
the UK."[104] Since the release of Vista in 2006 Microsoft has reduced the retail, and upgrade price point of Vista
considerably. Originally Vista Ultimate was priced at $399. and Home Premium Vista at $239. These prices have sense
been reduced to $319 and $199 respectively.[105]




                                                                                                               Page 22 of 29
Introduction to Windows Vista by Li, Zhang




Resource
Here is a list of what we feel are the top websites to help new users of Windows Vista get started.

Table 1‐ Top Web Sources

Top Web Source                    Source                URL
Windows Vista Enterprise          microsoft.com         http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc507845.aspx
Hardware Planning
Guidance
Windows Vista Upgrade             microsoft.com         http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windows-vista/get/upgrade-advisor.aspx
Advisor
Windows Vista Alternate           microsoft.com         http://www.microsoft.com/windowsvista/1033/ordermedia/default.mspx
Media
How to Clean Install              winsupersite.com http://www.winsupersite.com/showcase/winvista_upgrade_clean.asp
Windows Vista with Upgrade
Media
DirectX 10: The Future of PC      bit-tech.net          http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/graphics/2006/11/30/directx10_future_of_pc_gaming/1
Gaming
Vista Battery Fix?                msdn.com              http://blogs.msdn.com/coding4fun/archive/2007/05/06/2452864.aspx
A Closer Look at Windows          ni.com                http://zone.ni.com/devzone/cda/tut/p/id/5604
Vista Part II: Enhanced
Search
Protected Mode in Vista IE7       msdn.com         http://blogs.msdn.com/ie/archive/2006/02/09/528963.aspx
Windows Vista Feature             winsupersite.com http://www.winsupersite.com/showcase/winvista_ff_x64.asp
Focus: 64-Bit (x64) Support
Gameport support pack for         creative.com          http://forums.creative.com/t5/Windows-Vista/Gameport-support-pack-for-Vista-32-bit-x86-
Vista 32-bit (x86)                                      updated-on-07-07-2009/m-p/386462




                                                                                                                                        Page 23 of 29
Introduction to Windows Vista by Li, Zhang




Index

B                                            O

Blackcomb · 5                                Outlook · 6



C                                            R

CardSpace · 11                               ReadyBoost and ReadyDrive · 8
CD-ROM · 16

                                             S
D
                                             Service Pack 1 · 17
Desktop · 15
DirectX 10.1 · 17
                                             T
I                                            toolbar · 6

Internet Explorer 7 · 9
                                             V
M                                            Vista · 4

Microsoft · 4
                                             W
N                                            Windows SideShow · 7

NTBackup · 13
NVIDIA GeForce · 16




                                                                             Page 24 of 29
Introduction to Windows Vista by Li, Zhang




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